Carol stood next to her friend Diana on the sidelines of their girls’ first gymnastic meet of the season. Both of their daughters struggled to maintain their footing.

Diana stomped. “Tracey, get up. You can do better than that!”

Carol glanced at her friend. Diana’s brow creased together and her eyes narrowed.

“Relax,” Carol said. “It’s only the first competition.”

“But, look at her. She’s falling all over the place. I taught her better than that.”

“Give me a break. It’s not the end of the world.”

Diana crossed her arms. “Don’t you take pride in this?”

“Of course, but not to the point where I get upset with my daughter. I know she’s doing her best and that’s good enough for me.”

“Not me. Tracey needs to win this year.”

“For who? You?”

Diana scowled as the girls rushed forward.

Carol hugged her daughter. “Way to go, sweetheart.”

“But Mom, I did lousy.”

“I don’t care. You did your best and that’s all I can ask for. I’m very proud of you.”

Her daughter smiled.

Can we use our pride for good? Is that even possible? When you think of pride, what comes to mind? Conceit? Boastfulness?

The Oxford Dictionary defines it in a number of ways. Take a look at these two: “a feeling of elation or satisfaction at achievements or qualities or possessions, etc that do one credit” or “a high or overbearing opinion of one’s worth or importance.”

As with most things in life, there’s a good and bad side of pride. We can take it to the extreme on both ends of the spectrum. If we’re too proud of ourselves or what we’ve accomplished, we can give off the attitude we think we’re better than someone else. We can even start thinking it ourselves. Become a narcissist with an ego too big to fit through our front door. How long will our friends stick around? I hazard a guess it wouldn’t be for long. No one likes to be around someone like that.

Or, we can take a sense of pride in what we’ve accomplished, our families, job, etc. As long as we don’t elevate it higher than we should. Also, we need to give credit due to where it belongs. With God.

Recently, I finished writing my first novel, Amber Dreams, and took pride in accomplishing it. It felt good. The comments I’ve received on it so far are encouraging. It makes me want to press on to write more. However, I know I need to stay grounded so I don’t become too proud. Too overbearing. I also must give thanks to the One who gave me my gift. It’s for His glory I write. Not mine.

What would happen if we used our pride for good? We’d become more effective encouragers to our families and friends. Our pride presses them on to do even better, including ourselves.

How about we tell our loved ones how proud we are of them? Of their accomplishments.

To my precious family, I’m proud of all of you. Forgive me when I don’t say it often enough.

2 Corinthians 7:4 (NIV)
I have spoken to you with great frankness; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.

Are we as “proud as a peacock”?

(Jeff took this picture when we were in Hawaii!)

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